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Maine Sergeant Breaks Arm in Fight With Shoplifter

WATERVILLE -- A sergeant with the Waterville Police Department broke his arm Wednesday afternoon after scuffling with a Portland man accused of shoplifting, police said.

Sgt. Alan Main was still being treated late Wednesday afternoon for two broken bones in his arm, according to Police Chief Joseph Massey.

Christopher Veysey, 21, of 75 Commercial St., Portland, was arrested after the scuffle and charged with assaulting an officer, a felony, as well as misdemeanor counts of theft, refusing to submit to arrest and assault.

There were also three warrants for his arrest for failing to pay fines -- two from Cumberland County and one from Biddeford.

Massey called the injury unfortunate, and said Main has been with the department for 25 years. After visiting Main at the MaineGeneral Medical Center's Thayer Campus, Massey said Main appeared to be in pain but was conscious and alert.

"It's probably one of the most serious injuries on an officer I've seen here for quite some time," Massey said. "You hate it see an officer sustain an injury to that degree."

Police received a call at 2:20 p.m. from a security officer at the Marden's on Kennedy Memorial Drive about a man who had allegedly shoplifted a pair of socks. As officers headed toward the store, the man -- Veysey -- ran from the store and to a nearby Weathervane seafood restaurant.

Veysey was inside the restaurant when Main and Officer Todd Burbank arrived. As they got out of their cruisers, Veysey reportedly bolted out of the restaurant's front doors, shoving a female employee aside in the process.

Main wrapped his arm around the fleeing man as Burbank also reached for him. They all spun around, lost balance, and fell to the parking lot pavement.

The two officers struggled with Veysey on the ground. Officer Dennis Picard arrived and the three officers were able to restrain and arrest Veysey.

That's when Main looked at his right arm and saw a deformity between the wrist and elbow. He was taken by ambulance to Thayer.

Burbank suffered cuts to his right elbow and right wrist when he fell to the ground with Veysey, but those injuries did not require medical attention, Massey said.

While being held at the police department, Veysey later complained of arm pain, and he was taken to Inland Hospital.

Massey said Main was expected to be released from the hospital later Wednesday.

"We're hoping he has a speedy recovery," Massey said.

Massey said the incident will be investigated by a department detective because of the serious injury involved. Several witnesses, including patrons at the Weathervane, will be interviewed, Massey said.

Scott Monroe -- 861-9239

smonroe@centralmaine.com

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